If you are thinking about living and working in the archipelago that enjoys an excellent climate all year round, you must also know the positive and negative aspects of living on these islands. Living in the Canary Islands is a dream that many people from all over the world have made and many others aspire to make it come true, but you have to keep its pros and cons in mind.
The archipelago consists of six main islands located off the African coast. Although most parts of Africa are geographically part of Spain, they are part of the European Union.
The Canarian population is very young, more than 50% of the inhabitants are younger than 30 years. The main islands of the archipelago are:
Fuerteventura, where the eastern part is the most populated and rich in activities, while the western part is practically deserted.
Gran Canaria, where you can be at the beach practically all year round. According to climatologists, Gran Canaria is the place with the best climate in the world.
Tenerife is also called the island of eternal spring. The main tourist centers of Tenerife are Puerto de la Cruz in the north and Playa de Las Americas.
Lanzarote is a decidedly safer island with its nature reserve being a UNESCO heritage site.
You can find jobb in the hospitality and tourism sectors, where the Canary Islands are Spain’s second largest tourist destination by visitor numbers, with more than 13 million visitors a year. But due to the current high unemployment rate (over 20%) and the large number of immigrants arriving every year, finding a job is not that easy and once you have found it, you have to be careful not to be exploited are from any employe. with few scruples, taking advantage of the immigrants’ lack of work.
The situation is different for people with qualifications or with several language skills, for whom the chances of employment are good. Outside the tourism sector, job offers are very scarce as there are practically no industries. Those looking to open a business on any of these islands should know that competition is fierce. So if they want to be successful, they have to evaluate the area well and above all propose something innovative.
Like all Spaniards, the Canaries are warm and friendly. In recent times, the steadily increasing housing prices and the currently high unemployment rate are increasingly associated with this unstoppable wave of migration, so that the perception of the foreigner who settles here is no longer that of a time. But once you have shown that you are a good person, they will immediately welcome you among them and make you feel at home.
The special location of the Canary Islands guarantees an excellent climate all year round, but the downside is that life on small islands can become boring over time and you need to take a trip every now and then. The distance from continental Europe, for example, requires a fairly long flight (4 or 5 hours if it is a direct flight and up to 9 or 10 hours if it is a stopover) and is not cheap, especially in high season. Life on an island is difficult if you were not born there.
In general, the cost of living in the Canary Islands is slightly lower than in Spain. Rents are below the European average, although they have recently risen sharply in tourist areas. Heating is a missing element of the cost. Groceries (meat, fish and fruit) are inexpensive. Petrol costs €1.50 per liter. But the salaries are not high either, considering that the average salary is €1,000 to €1,100 per month. In recent years, there has been a clear deterioration with steadily rising living costs and stable wage levels. The result was an erosion of the purchasing power of employees and a deterioration in their quality of life.
Public healthcare is free, but due to staff shortages, waiting times for tests and visits to specialists can often be long. The range of public transport is very limited. So if you want to work and live in the Canary Islands, having your own transport is almost essential. The relaxed lifestyle of the islands brings with it the culture of the ‘morning’. You have to put up with delays in the bureaucratic system. Queuing at the bank, post office or other public offices is the rule. For Latinos, who are already used to it, it’s not a big problem; it’s different for an Englishman or a German.
The crime rate is very low. You can walk down the street at any time of the day or night and feel completely safe whether you are a single woman, in the city center or in a remote part of the island. The crime is not that it does not exist, but that it’s mainly petty theft. It is almost impossible to find this wonderful flora and fauna in other places.
There are many natural parks and their beauty is impressive. Beaches and an enchanting sea form the backdrop to these islands. The climate is really excellent all year round with temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees. A year-round spring climate without cold or hot peaks.
Living in the Canary Islands, pros and cons
Living in the Canary Islands, pros
- Very friendly and helpful people
- Ease of integration
- Low crime
- Beautiful landscapes, sea and beautiful beaches
- Excellent weather
- Good cuisine and food in general
- People like to have fun and live without stress.
- Low cost of living
Living in the Canary Islands, cons
- Difficulty finding work and low wages
- Small size of the islands
Living in the Canary Islands, Conclusion
The quality of life in the Canary Islands is excellent: the climate, the cost of living and the enchanting landscapes create a kind of inner peace on a human scale. The calm and serenity of the people, in contrast to the stress and bustle that characterize many other places in the world, carry a remarkable positive charge.
The Canary Islands are a great place to live for anyone who does not have to look for work, pensioners, remote workers, etc. Unskilled jobs is poorly paid, poorly protected and workers are often exploited. So if your priorities are money and career, the Canary Islands are not for you. On the other hand, if you want to live quietly and relaxed in a beautiful place, then you might consider these islands.
If you want to have all the information about how to work in Spain, I recommend you to read the article: Working in Spain
If you want to have all the information about living in Spain, you can read the article: Moving to Spain